General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association, Prosper Harrison Addo, has revealed plans by the GFA to roll out vaccines to football fans at league centres to help fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Prosper Addo, clubs will be working with COVID vaccination officials before, during and after games to help control the spread of the new Omicron variant and other variants of the virus.
“We are ensuring that all the stakeholders of the footballing ecosystem are vaccinated. We have even engaged clubs to ensure that they can work with the COVID officials in their locality to bring them to match venues in this December that has been declared a month of vaccination in Ghana, and ensure that supporters get vaccinated so that in January when the government moves into full swing, soccer fans would be ready so that we don’t have anybody missing on the beautiful game of football,” he said on Luv FM.
Prosper Addo believes football supporters in the country need to understand the importance of this vaccination exercise and take it seriously to avoid premature casualties.
“This December, a few times we will see clubs working with COVID officials at match centres on match days so that their supporters will take advantage and get vaccinated.”
“Together we have to protect ourselves; we can’t protect one centre and leave the rest, so until we get a good number vaccinated we are all not safe, and that’s why I’ll urge and plead with both the sporting and general media to push home the message together with the government in this pandemic period,” he said.
Earlier this month, Ghana’s Presidential Advisor for COVID-19, Dr. Nsiah Asare, also reiterated the government’s plans to implement a policy to deny persons without COVID-19 vaccine certificates access to the various stadiums in the country ahead of 2021/2022 Ghana Premier League season.
“I’m entreating everyone to get vaccinated this month [December] to enable everyone to go about his normal duty freely. By doing this, football fans can go to the stadium and watch their football without any restrictions because it will get to a point where people who haven’t been vaccinated can’t go to the stadium”, he told Kumasi-based radio station Fox FM.
“We are allowing everyone to get vaccinated now to allow them to go to the stadium and cheer their teams up,” he affirmed.
Dr. Nsiah Asare’s remarks follow the same directive announced by Kurt Okraku, President of the Ghana Football Association, in October 2021.
While speaking at the 27th normal session of congress at the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of Excellence at Prampram on October 28, 2021, Mr. Okraku said: “We are engaging government to ensure we have more fans accessing our games, but one of the key requirements will be the need for all of us to ensure we are vaccinated to be able to access football.”
“So what that means is that all our players and staff will be vaccinated. Indeed, that process has started, and all football fans who will want to access our games live at the various stadia, must prove they have received vaccination,” he said.
The Government of Ghana is hoping to vaccinate 20 million people before the end of the year 2021, as part of efforts to get herd immunity.
The government has thus introduced new measures to get more Ghanaians to take the jab.
It has thus declared December 2021 as a month of COVID-19 vaccination, after which some restrictions would be announced.
The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, on Wednesday announced that from January 2022, persons without vaccine certificates would not be allowed entry into entertainment centres.